So there I was on the Twitter, conversing with a few friends and rambling aimlessly about some movie minutiae that was hopping through my head. One of those Tweets was this one, and it prompted an immediate response from several Twitter pals ... and Erik Davis. He insisted that my admiration for character actor William Atherton would make for an appropriate edition of "Villains We Love," and here's why: Mr. Atherton is at his best when he's playing a smug, smarmy, officious authority figure who exists mainly to give a movie's hero something fun to play off of.

Case in point: Val Kimer vs. William Atherton in Real Genius. Bill Murray vs. William Atherton in Ghostbusters. Bruce Willis (and Bonnie Bedelia) vs. William Atherton in Die Hard and Die Hard 2. Pauly Shore vs. William Atherton in Bio-Dome. Certainly no one-trick pony (you also know this actor from The Sugarland Express, The Day of the Locust, and The Last Samurai), but the man's just great at playing a snooty villainous bastard. For those who require some evidence, I refer you to the post-jump territory.

More on Atherton: To find out which giant TV show he'll be guest starring on during its final season, head over to SciFi Squad.
A little salty language in this classic Ghostbusters clip:


A simple-but-amusing capper from Die Hard:


And here's a lengthier segment from Real Genius that truly showcases Atherton's mustache-twirly awesomeness:

CATEGORIES Comedy, Cinematical